Floetry by JulietKego: BURIAL (A Dirge for Naija)
She, who wears her heart
on your flowing dashiki sleeves
must learn to take it back and tuck it in,
into the zipless tight bands
of her ill-fitting, adire maxi skirts.
She, who dances egedege in innocence
under Delta rains,
her teardrops mired in mascara,
the mud rippling into rivers of truth
must learn to climb Udi hills;
mountains of amorphous Olumo rocks
steeped in sin in amorous layered Lokoja
And then cleanse her skin and soul
In Niger-Benue sister-rivers and Nike lakes.
Let the Jos plateaus set a table
filled with a sumptuous, bitter buffet,
call the rejects, the heartbroken
lost in the vineless, silent Idanre valleys
let us celebrate a love that breathes not
and as she sleeps on in coma;
prepare to pull the plug.
Give a befitting burial to Africa’s heart
and when robin birds sing a dirge
we will lower her non too gently
to the weighted arms of Nne,
the Mother Earth.
(C) Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido